Pectoriloquy |


Anthony Buccino
Author and Funding Information

Nutley, NJ

Correspondence to: Anthony Buccino, CB Press, PO Box 110252, Nutley, NJ 07110; e-mail: abiebook@aol.com

Chest. 2008;134(2):465. doi:10.1378/chest.08-1087
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Published online

I thought I’d always

remember it was

a red x

or a black x

on the spot

for the radiation

after your lung cancer

operation – but

I don’t know if it

was a red x

or a black x,

so how can I be sure

when I write about it.

Ma said when you met at the

Branch Brook Roller Skating rink

you didn’t smoke.

She said you started

in the war, then when

you got back, the habit

stayed with you

for decades.

Then a bad cough

helped you quit.

You mixed things,

the treatments weakened you,

you, the strongest man in the world,

your tree trunk forearms,

your muscles like boulders,

all for nothing when you asked

in your garbled words for a rub back.

No one wanted to admit it didn’t matter

if it was a red x or a black x.

The radiation, like kryptonite, sapped you,

and then you were gone.

Editor’s note for authors of submissions to Pectoriloquy: Poems should not exceed 350 words, should not have been previously published, and should be related to concerns of physicians and medicine. First submissions to the Pectoriloquy Section should be submitted via e-mail to poetrychest@aol.com. Authors of accepted poems will be asked to submit the final version to CHEST Manuscript Central.




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